Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Review)

Bard Bird directs Ghost Protocol which is the best Mission Impossible film

Bard Bird directs Ghost Protocol which is the best Mission Impossible film

The Franchise’s Best Film Yet.

JJ Abrams and Tom Cruise created a great third installment for the Mission Impossible franchise. Brad Bird took over the directing chair and blew JJ’s film out of the water.  Bird captured everything that has made the Mission Impossible franchise fantastic with exotic and extravagant shooting locations, action sequences,  but told a cohesive story that introduced several new characters.  Mission Impossible: Protocol introduced Jeremy Renner and instantly became a fan favorite of the series. Simon Pegg also had an expanded role which helped him become beloved too. Ghost Protocol could be considered one of the best action spy thrillers of all time.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is in prison after killing six Serbians and is disavowed by IMF. Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and Benji Dunn, who has been promoted from technician to field agent, (Simon Pegg) break Ethan out of prison.  Ethan, Jane, and Benji are given orders to infiltrate the Kremlin, Russia’s Fortress for to protect their government executives, to obtain information about Cobalt. Cobalt is a secret identity for a unknown terrorist. Benji and Ethan are in the Kremlin but discover the files are not there. Cobalt hacks into the IMF frequency and plants a bomb that destroys the Kremlin. Ethan barely escapes but is hospitalized. He is interrogated by a SVR (Foreign Intelligent Agency) agent while in a hospital but Ethan escapes then contacts the IMF. Ethan is picked up by the Director of the IMF (Tom Wilkinson) and his chief analyst, Wiliam Brandt (Jeremy Renner), and told that he and his team are labeled traitors. The President had initiated “Ghost Protocol” which disavows the entire IMF. Ethan tells the Director that he has seen Cobalt and shows Brandt who identifies the individual as Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqist), a Swedish Nuclear Strategist who wants to destroy the world. The Director, Ethan, and Brandt are ambushed by the Russians.  Ethan, Brandt, and his team must stop Hendricks from using the Russian Nuclear device that he stole to start World War III.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol has breathtaking action sequences. Tom Cruise climbs the tallest building in the world. The action sequence happens in Dubai. One of his gloves malfunctions and it makes the audience feel like Ethan in his serious trouble. Ethan chases Hendricks in a car chase scene in Dubai during sandstorm. In the Dubai hotel, Jane fights the assassin that killed her partner in a hotel room during the Dubai action sequence. She amusedly kicks the assassin out the window and shrugs her shoulders that she doesn’t care.  The story was the best part of the movie.

Bird and the screenwriters, Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, crafted a story that is driven by the action and characters.  The plot grabs the audiences attention within the first few seconds. The prison breakout scene really helps to explore the relationship with Benji and Ethan. The creative team had the characters drive the plot and used the action sequences as consequences to the character’s actions. Brandt gets flushed out and it is discovered he played a part in Ethan’s past.  Jane and Ethan share similar experiences and their characters come to trust each other. Cruise and Pegg have amazing chemistry together and create moments of hilarity. Paula Patton really does stand out as a female action hero. The Mission Impossible film franchise has developed strong female characters which is one of the major strengths of the franchise. The only problem with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is the villain. He is one dimensional.

Overall, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is the best Mission Impossible movie. Rogue Nation has superseded it with the critics.  Ghost Protocol is my favorite Mission Impossible movie.  Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol gets a 4.5 out 5.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation comes out Friday. I’ve included the trailer below.

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Mission Impossible III review

Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt trying to take down Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt trying to take down Phillip Seymour Hoffman

JJ Abrams Makes a Spectacular Directorial Debut!

Mission Impossible II was released in 2000 and had mixed reactions among critics and fans. It took Mission Impossible III six years to be released, and it was met with a lot of positive praise.  David Frincher was originally going to direct the film but left over creative differences. Tom Cruise called his friend, JJ Abrams, and asked him to direct his first ever movie. JJ Abrams decided to reboot the story and have Ethan Hunt be retired and getting married as the premise for the third installment.

Ethan Hunt is retired from IMF (Impossible Missions Force) and training new operatives for the field.  He is also engaged to a nurse, Julia (Michelle Monaghan).  Ethan gets a call from assistant director, John Musgrave (Billy Crudup), about his former protégé, Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell), being held captive in Germany.  Ethan leaves to rescue her with his team of Luther Strickell (Ving Rhames), Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Myers), and Zhan Lei (Maggie Q). The team successfully rescues Lindsey but Lindsey needs to tell Ethan something important about the IMF. Her captor, Owen Davian (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), triggers a device in Lindsey’s head that kills her instantaneously.  Ethan and Musgrave are reprimanded for the death of Lindsey by the director of the IMF, Theodore Brassel (Lawrence Fishburne).   Lindsey before her death sends Ethan a encrypted chip that the IMF technician name Benji (Simon Pegg) decodes. Ethan learns Davian is going to the Vatican to buy an item called the “Rabbits Foot.” Ethan and team capture Davian and take him back to IMF. They are the Chesapeake Bay Bridge when Davian’s crew ambushes Hunt and his team. Davian escapes then captures Julia, Ethan’s fiancé. Ethan is taken into custody by Brassel and branded a rogue agent. Musgrave helps Ethan escape and tells Ethan the location of the Rabbit’s Foot.  Ethan must save Julia by obtaining the Rabbits Foot and exchanging it with Julia while alluding the IMF.

Mission Impossible III has several glaring negatives. As you watch the movie, the plot switches from a revenge flick to save the love of my life flick. Ethan goes to Vatican City to capture Davian. He is obviously filled with vengefulness and hate towards Davian and goes to capture the killer of his protégé without his two bosses knowing about it.  It’s unsanctioned operation that could cost Ethan his life and career. However, the plot of the movie switches when Davian escapes. He captures Julia and forces Ethan to steal the Rabbit’s Foot and bring it to him for Julia’s freedom.  The final negative is the movie is all action and tension. JJ needed to have scenes to flush out the characters. However, the action is also a positive of Mission Impossible III.

JJ Abrams delivered a heart pounding non stop action spy movie. He also incorporated more spy technology into the film. Abrams did a fantastic job in directing action scenes and added humor within those sequences.  Cruise is the face of the Mission Impossible franchise. Ethan Hunt is the leader of the teams and develops as a character. He is getting married and retired in the beginning of the movie. Luther even tells Hunt that he knows that active IMF Agents can’t have successful marriages. Ethan replies “that’s why I retired because I love her.”   The chemistry and acting is one of the strong points of the film.  Cruise has great chemistry with every cast member, and the main cast gives great acting performances.  Fishburne, Meyes, Maggie Q, Monaghan, Crudup, and Pegg stand out in the movie. Pegg really stands out, and included a clip below to show you why.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman really stands out.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a wonderful villain. He tells Ethan after he is captured that he is “going to find his love ones, torture him in front of them, kill him, and then them.”  His goal is to sell the Rabbit’s Foot, although we never know what it is going to do.  Hoffman shows a little remorse in the movie. He has been the best Mission Impossible villain in the four films.

Overall, Mission Impossible III has a confusing plot while watching it but it is a damn good movie. Mission Impossible III gets a 4 out of 5.